About CSSW

Established in 1981, CSSW is based at the campus of Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, NY.  We are in session for 30 sessions each school year from September through June, and offer  Saturday classes from 9:00 AM to 12 noon.  Students attend a 2-hour language class as well as a 3rd period culture class.

What is CSSW’s Approach to Chinese Language Education?

CSSW’s core mission is to provide an institutional vehicle for the teaching and learning of the Chinese language and culture for children from the Nursery School level (2-3 years old) through the end of formal secondary school.  We also provide selected Continuing Education courses for adults.  Our classes are typically organized in a small  group format consisting of 5-15 students per class.  Since our school community, is comprised of families from highly diversified backgrounds – particularly in terms of Chinese language proficiency – we strive to offer a curriculum  that encourages a long-term multi-year learning experience, but is also sufficiently flexible so that a new student can readily find his or her optimal starting point.

How is the Mandarin Language Curriculum Structured?

We help our students become proficient in both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.  Our textbooks and teaching materials typically include options for both Traditional and Simplified editions, based on the individual preferences of families.   Classroom work is supplemented by scheduled school-wide competitions, performances and other cultural and social events.

  • Nursery (2-3s), Pre-K (4-5s) & Kindergarten (5-6s): These early education classes introduce young children to learning in a Mandarin-speaking environment where the fundamental skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are systematically introduced. The Nursery Class is organized as a play group, while the Pre-K and Kindergarten Classes more closely resemble a conventional classroom format. Both the phonetic system of hanyu pinyin and Chinese written characters are introduced.
  • 1st Grade – 7th Grade: We use the textbook MeiZhou HuaYu, one of the  most widely used textbook series among Chinese language heritage schools. In addition to weekly classes, there are weekly homework assignments, regular quizzes and tests. Report cards are distributed in both the Fall and Spring Semesters.
  • 8th Grade – 12th Grade: Starting in 8th Grade, we use the textbook series Integrated Chinese. Emphasis is placed on students becoming proficient in speaking and listening, with regular work in reading and writing more advanced material. Students who satisfactorily complete these classes are eligible for graduation and earn a CSSW diploma.
What other courses are offered besides language classes?

We offer classes in Painting & Calligraphy, Origami, Kung Fu & Tai Chi, Dance, Chess  and Ping-Pong.  Beginner Conversation and Intermediate Conversation classes are also available.

Can I Visit Classes Before I Decide to Register?

Visitors may observe classes on Saturdays when we are in session by making an appointment at [email protected].  Please provide the visitor’s name, age, and Chinese language background.